❝Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.❞ Oliver Wendell Holmes
Dreaming In Sumerian, Aramaic, Latin, Sanskrit, Amharic and More…
In a recent post on Dreaming, I’d casually mentioned that I remember my dreams that appear in color and where I speak other languages. I had not given it much thought because I imagined it was a common occurrence for a lot of people. So when a fellow blogger and blog friend, starlaschat, expressed surprise at my statement, it made me pause. Does this mean that everyone only speaks their native language in their sleep? What other languages do you speak in your sleep? Are you even aware of it?
I was grateful for the comment because it led me down the road to do a bit more investigation on the phenomenon, if I should even call it that. Now before you say it’s gibberish, think again. I’ve had others tell me I was speaking a foreign language and in deep conversation with someone/others. The languages above always carried powerful images and messages in my dreams and often felt quite palpable like being in a live show projected on a huge screen. Strange? Who knows… What I found in my search was quite interesting but first, a bit of background on my experience.
❝Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.❞ Rita Mae Brown
Dreaming In Arabic, Hebrew, German, Italian and French…
The first language I learned to speak was English. Then I studied French, Spanish and Latin in school. During the war, I learned my father’s native tongue, Igbo, and because I went to international schools, I was exposed to other languages; Russian, Farsi, Arabic, Hindi, Amharic, Chinese, Japanese, Central Thai/Siamese, Scandinavian languages, lots of other African languages and all the romance languages too. I picked up a smattering of words here and there, but not enough to hold an intelligent conversation in most of those languages.
So, it was surprising to me when one night, in my preteens, I fell asleep and found myself in full conversation with a group of women in what looked like a biblical setting. We were talking about an event from the bible and our excitement about attending it. For some reason and please don’t ask me to explain this mystery, I knew perfectly well that we were speaking Aramaic. It made sense to me and I understood everything discussed. Over the years, other dreams surfaced in more modern languages (or rather languages we still speak today) and I was always amused to see myself speaking fluent Italian, French or Hindi in my sleep.
❝The limits of my language are the limits of my world.❞ Ludwig Wittgenstein
Dreaming In Egyptian, Akkadian, Hurrian, Hattic and Elamite…
I suppose there is something to be said about how our personal history and exposure contribute to our life experiences and the Czech proverb says it well. “Those who know many languages live as many lives as the languages they know.” Could this include past lives or lives lived on another realm simultaneously with our own? Okay, I’m not a SciFi buff but why not? When I decided to explore the subject a bit more, I found forums and links to several sites on the internet. What stood out for me was that a number of people who shared their experiences also believed that Aramaic was one they knew they spoke in their sleep. Hebrew and Arabic were others or a combination of the two. I was flabbergasted because they mirrored some of my experiences. How could individuals from countries across the globe have a deep intuitive sense about a language they’ve never heard in this life time?
❝To have another language is to possess a second soul.❞ Charlemagne
Dreaming In Greek, Phoenician, Moabite Ammonite, and Brahmic family of scripts…
How could this be possible? What does it say about embedded, ancient memory? Well, one comment led me to the term genetic memory and Carl Jung‘s racial memory which stopped me in my tracks. In psychology, genetic memory is a memory present at birth that exists in the absence of sensory experience, and is incorporated into the genome over long spans of time”. In Jungian psychology, “racial memories are posited memories, feelings and ideas inherited from our ancestors as part of a “collective unconscious“. I’m inclined to believe Jung because I can’t imagine that our lives are a tabula rasa with no ancient genetic markers or embedded memory codes. In spiritual writings, we read about the thin veil separating this world from others and, perhaps, there is a realm of the spirit where ancient languages and speaking in tongues emanate from. What do you think? More below